Literature Into the Prisons

History Book
History Book
History Book

New areas of literature outreach are continually researched and moved into, as the Lord leads. One such outreach occurred in the mid-1990s, when literature samples were mailed into all the federal and state correctional institutions in the United States and Canada. God blessed this project, and the positive response was widespread. Letters from chaplains continue to come in regularly with requests for increased and ongoing supplies of literature. One of the chaplains who wrote to express his gratitude said, “We note your extensive work; certainly a worthy ministry in a neglected area. We surely thank God for organizations like yours that have this concern on their hearts.”

Upon reading the literature, many prisoners write to request a personal subscription for themselves, as well as for members of their families. They also send prayer requests and seek spiritual counsel. One man wrote, “All who know me say I am a ‘hopeless case,’ but I would like to get in contact with God to know if He thinks the same. I am not an infidel, just a sin-wrecked human being. I would be so glad to know if there is a chance for a person like me. Would you remember me in prayer and instruct me in spiritual things?”

Roy Frymire, a veteran minister and retired pastor, assists with answering mail.

Correspondents reply to pleas such as these with words of encouragement, assuring the writers of God’s gracious love for the sinner and His wil­lingness to redeem. To aid in the spiritual growth of inmates, letters and tracts are sent to all prisoners periodically. At Christmas time small calendars, along with a Christmas letter, are mailed to each correspondent.

After receiving the Higher Way magazine, one inmate wrote, “After reading an article in Higher Way, I was convicted by the Spirit. I realized that I had put freedom on the throne of my life instead of Jesus. I hit my knees on the concrete floor and truly surrendered myself to Him. I asked Him to take the fear, the worry, the anxiety, and the loneliness away from me. I gave Him control of my release, control of everything in my life. I asked Him to take it all off of my shoulders, and to work this situation toward good in my life. He set me free! He took down the prison bars of fear and worry from my heart and set me free. I am so relieved now that it does not matter what happens in my life. I have given it to the Lord.”

Another man told of receiving a copy of the Apostolic Faith booklet, A Glimpse Into the Future, from another inmate. He wrote, “As I read the first line of the booklet, I realized that I hadn’t given very much thought to exactly what the future held in direct relationship to me. So I kept reading. Every word seemed to come alive and I trembled as I continued to read. By the time I finished the booklet, I knew what it means to fear the Lord and I wanted to be saved.” He went on to describe how for two days, he struggled with conviction. Finally he broke down and prayed, and God made a wonderful change in his heart. He concluded his letter by saying, “I can’t really explain how, but this week has been different than all the weeks of my past. I don’t know a lot about how to pray, but I feel God’s presence and I believe that He is listening. I can’t be the only person who was touched by your booklet, but I want to thank you for touching me.”

Copies of the Higher Way magazine waiting to be distributed around the world.

Over the years of correspondence with inmates, many requests for prayer have come from men on death row. Those who have not already sought God’s pardon are encouraged to do so immediately. And those who have been forgiven are urged to hold fast to the only One who is able to deliver and to keep them living victoriously unto the end. One inmate was converted while on death row, and his execution was stayed for a time. He lived an exemplary Christian life in prison, corresponding regularly with the Apostolic Faith ministry. When his time came to pay the death penalty for the crime he had committed, he turned to the witnesses and said, “Good-day, I am prepared to go.”